Below are my personal favorite guitarists, groups, albums, composers, and some other artists broken down by different genres and in no particular order.  Some are from my early youth, some inspired me as I played over the years, and some I have come to know fairly recently.

GYPSY JAZZ (MANOUCHE):

  • Django Reinhardt (Can there be anyone else at the top of any guitar list?)
  • Biréli Lagrène (To me, the current torch bearer of Django's music.  An extraordinarily gifted and diverse artist, capable of excelling in many different genres.)
  • Biel Ballester (Came to become known by many for his musical contribution to the film, "Vicky Cristina Barcelona."  Classically trained and possessing one of the most beautiful guitar intonations I've ever heard.)
  • Angelo Debarre
  • Romane (Patrick Leguidecoq)
  • Clément Reboul (Not only a fabulous guitarist but a prolific presence on YouTube, including many tutorial videos.)
  • Tchavolo Schmitt
  • Stochelo Rosenberg 
  • Fapy Lafertin 

JAZZ GROUPS SPECIALIZING IN OR STRONGLY INFLUENCED BY GYPSY SWING:

  • Avalon Jazz Band (featuring the fabulous Tatiana Eva-Marie on vocals and Vinny Raniolo on guitar)
  • Pearl Django
  • Rose Room (A relatively new group I discovered featuring an excellent female vocalist.)
  • Special mention to the myriad of groups designated by, "Hot Club of..."

TRADITIONAL JAZZ, CONTEMPORARY AND CROSSOVER:

  • Les Paul
  • Charlie Byrd 
  • Joe Pass
  • Laurindo Almeida
  • Wes Montgomery
  • Barney Kessel
  • Earl Klugh (as part of the Earl Klugh Trio)
  • (And Biréli Lagrène can easily be added to this group.)
  • Johnny A
  • Los Indios Tabajares
  • Tommy Emmanuel 

ROCK, FUSION, AND BLUES:

  • Al Di Meola
  • Jimmy Page
  • Carlos Santana 
  • David Hidalgo 
  • Eric Clapton
  • James Burton
  • Ritchie Blackmore 
  • Robert Cray 
  • Steve Cropper 
  • Stevie Ray Vaughn

CLASSICAL AND FLAMENCO:

  • Gerardo Núñez  
  • Liona Boyd 
  • Paco de Lucía  
  • Manuel Barrueco

COUNTRY AND POP CROSSOVER:

  • Chet Atkins
  • Doyle Dykes
  • Doc Watson

GUITAR ALBUMS (in no particular order):

  • Santana (Santana)
  • Abraxas (Santana)
  • Elegant Gypsy (Al Di Meola)
  • Casino (Al Di Meola)
  • Boston (Boston)
  • Led Zeppelin IV (Led Zeppelin)
  • Machine Head (Deep Purple) (Is there any guitarist who has never played the intro to, "Smoke on the Water?")
  • Andando el Tiempo (Gerardo Núñez) (Especially the song, "La Habana a Oscuras")
  • Chet Atkins in Hollywood (Chet Atkins)
  • Bireli Swing '81 (Biréli Lagrène)
  • A Hard Day's Night (The Beatles)
  • Echoes of Mallorca (Biel Ballester Trio)
  • Bistro de Barcelona (Biel Ballester Trio)

ROCK GROUPS (Alphabetically):

  • Atlanta Rhythm Section
  • Bad Company
  • Booker T. & The M.G.'s (Technically R&B but I still want to list them)
  • Boston
  • Credence Clearwater Revival
  • Deep Purple
  • Heart
  • Led Zeppelin
  • Los Lobos
  • Marshall Crenshaw (not technically a "group", but one of my very favorites)
  • Santana
  • Scorpions
  • The Beatles
  • The Rolling Stones
  • Toto
  • Van Halen

OTHER NON-GUITAR MUSICIANS:

  • Stéphane Grappelli
  • Florin Niculescu
  • Aurore Voilqué  (superb violinist who often plays with Clément Reboul)
  • Max Rabe & Palast Orchester
  • David Grisman 
  • Richard Galliano
  • Lee Oskar

COMPOSERS (NON-CLASSICAL):

  • Astor Piazzolla
  • Cole Porter
  • Ennio Morricone
  • Henry Mancini
  • John Barry
  • Jon Lord (check out his concert work apart from Deep Purple)
  • Richard Rodgers